The Washington Post

Review roundup: Cosi in French and other delights

Catching up with a week’s worth of reviews.

I had two red-letter nights this week: what may be my favorite appearance by the Mariinsky Orchestra and Valery Gergiev, playing three full ballet scores by Stravinsky, on Monday night, and, on Friday, a deliciously daring “what-if” performance by Opera Lafayette proposing Mozart’s “Cosi fan tutte” as an opéra-comique. In French. With spoken dialogue. Talk about radical stagings -- and they pulled it off.

Another big event this week was Cameron Carpenter’s recital last Wednesday on the Kennedy Center’s still-new Rubenstein Family Organ; Charles Downey appreciated it.

Downey also heard Les Violons du Roy with Stephanie Blythe at Strathmore: “one of the top 10 concerts of the year… and only a couple of hundred people heard it.”

And on Sunday, he caught the Beijing Symphony’s reliable but not extraordinary concert at Strathmore at the end of their first US tour.

This past Friday, Tom Huizenga enjoyed the idiosyncratic violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and friends at the Wolf Trap Barns.

And a week ago Sunday, Stephen Brookes heard another kind of string playing: the Dublin Guitar Quartet. A week later, he heard the American debut of the pianist Ivana Gavric.

Finally, I’m pleased to welcome a new reviewer, Simon Chin, who assessed for us the Cathedral Choral Society’s Sunday afternoon performance of Verdi.

Anne Midgette came to the Washington Post in 2008, when she consolidated her various cultural interests under the single title of chief classical music critic. She blogs at The Classical Beat.

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